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In support of emergency department health information technology.

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Regenstrief Institute, Inc. and Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN, USA.


Emergency department visits represent a significant portion of medical care. Emergency physicians require immediate access to clinical information in order to provide quality care. Increased medical errors result when access to the complete medical record is limited. Clinicians' access to clinical information is limited to the greatest extent when care occurs over short time intervals, and between separate healthcare systems. Over the four-year period, the majority (85%) of all patients, stay within the same system; however, of patients with more than one visit, this percentage decreases to 66%. Of patients who return within 24 hours, 75% return to the same hospital or healthcare system. This patient population represents a unique cohort with special healthcare needs. Not only do they represent a disproportionate share of visits compared to those remaining within a single system but they also represent additional, and often underestimated, opportunities to provide quality care.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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